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Posted on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

Eastern Michigan University board approves 3.75% tuition hike and $296.4M budget

By Kellie Woodhouse

Eastern Michigan University's governing board on Tuesday unanimously approved a 3.75 percent tuition increase, which will bring in-state tuition at the Ypsilanti college to $9,364 per year.


Students traverse Eastern Michigan University's Ypsilanti campus. file photo

The increase hits the cap imposed by the Michigan Legislature, which tied tuition increases to state appropriations in its fiscal 2014 higher education budget.

"We do not take any increase lightly," EMU's Chief Financial Officer John Lumm said. Full-time EMU students will pay $338 more per year.

The eight-member approved the uptick during a 1:30 p.m. public meeting Tuesday.

In an interview before the vote, EMU Board of Regents chair Francine Parker called the increase responsible and said it was necessary for the school to fund building improvements and new academic programs.

"I like that we've been able to maintain the modest increases that we have," Parker said. "We're still down at the bottom of the pack, but I think it's responsible."

The increase is coupled with a $296.4 million general fund budget, which funds the university's personnel costs, administrative expenses, academic enterprise and some of its athletic costs, and a $44.4 million auxiliary budget, which includes housing, parking and dining costs. The auxiliary budget is self-funding.

The athletic department will adopt a $10.73 million budget, with $9.24 million funded using the school's general fund.


Francine Parker

Melanie Maxwell I

This year's hike follows a 3.95 percent increase last year, a 3.65 percent increase in 2011-12, a tuition freeze in 2010-11 and a 3.8 percent increase in 2009-10. The five-year average for tuition increases at EMU is roughly 3 percent.

"It beats all the other public universities here in the state, so that in itself is a testimony of Eastern Michigan's commitment to holding the rates and fees and tuition increases down and making it affordable," said recently appointed EMU regent Mary Treder Lang, an accountant.

During the past decade, tuition rates have been raised a total of 66.4 percent for in-state tuition in-total.

Past EMU in-state tuition rates:

  • 2013-14: $9,364
  • 2012-13: $9,026
  • 2011-12: $8,683
  • 2010-11: $8,377
  • 2009-10: $8,377
  • 2008-09: $8,069
  • 2007-08: $7,490
  • 2006-07: $6,935
  • 2005-06: $6,541
  • 2004-05: $5,762
  • 2003-04: $5,627

Parker said the board would have liked to increase tuition more substantially, but could not because it would have lost state funding made going above the 3.75 tuition restraint cap imposed by the legislature.

"When you see what other universities have done, they're now doing some of their cuts. But we have been steadily cutting," Parker said. "So it's almost like because you did it early, you're not able to make up some of the ground with the [state-imposed cap]."

EMU will receive $66.5 million in state funding this year. The tuition increase, coupled with a 1 percent projected enrollment increase, is expected to bring $6.2 million in new revenues to the university. Officials are anticipating $218.4 million in tuition and fee revenue next year.

Lumm said officials expect that students will enroll in 534,000 credit hours next year.

About $198 million of EMU's anticipated $296.4 million general fund budget will go toward financing personnel costs.

The general fund budget also allots for an 11 percent increase in centrally awarded student aid. Financial aid levels will rise $3.8 million, to $39.2 million. Six years ago the university awarded $21.4 million in aid. Aid includes scholarships for athletes, which are anticipated to cost EMU more than $7 million.

"It's making coming to Eastern affordable and more attractive for the students and parents, depending on their financial restraints," Treder Lang said.

Fiscal 2014 begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2014.

In the fall, classes at Western Michigan University will cost $327 per credit and $370 per credit at Central Michigan University. The cost at EMU will be $266 per credit.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Buzz Buzz

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 5:08 a.m.

Lower salaries and eliminate programs students aren't enrolling in. (Kellie, will you please investigate this ... EMU frequently circulates a list on campus.)

Matt Evett

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

The reason the tuition hikes are greater than inflation is because state funding has decreased so much over the past decade. This necessarily passes the costs onto tuition.

Buzz Buzz

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 5:10 a.m.

Nope. The reason the tuition hikes are greater is a misuse of funds on campus. I'm all too familiar with what happens on campus. EMU simply needs to be a smaller school ... less students, less faculty, etc.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 11:19 a.m.

Interesting how much different Cmich and Wmich are versus Emich in the cost per credit hour. It kind-of puts things into perspective.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 2:10 a.m.

CUT THE ATHLETIC BUDGET!!! We spend $35 million on 1000 and our athletic programs loss money each year. It does not benefit the student body. It does not benefit the general public. It only benefits 1000 student-athletes. That means EMU spends $35,000 per student-athlete. That is more than it pays its starting lecturers that have PhDs. Looks obvious to me that EMU is in the business of sports, not academics. Also, why no reporting on the shadow budget Kellie? The Non-General Fund or Auxiliary Budget

The Picker

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

And they keep telling us there is NO inflation ? !


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 8:01 p.m.

"Parker said the board would have liked to increase tuition more substantially, but could not because it would have lost state funding made going above the 3.75 tuition restraint cap imposed by the legislature." The bubble keeps on growing. Hey EMU, remember 0-0-0?

Hugh Giariola

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 11:24 a.m.

They'll just impose a new fee to make up for the 3.75% cap.

Geoff Larcom

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

As regent Mary Treder Lang alludes to, with today's board vote Eastern now has the lowest dollar increase in tuition over the last five years of any of the 15 public universities in the state.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

Are your financial aid advisors still going to advise young women to eat pregnant in order to pay for school? Or advise students whose parents can't afford the shell out $10,000 for tuition that its in their bet interest to give up and drop out? Eastern Michigan university has they most deplorable financial aid department and advisors I've ever talked to or about. Tuition has nearly doubled in ten years, and that's supposed to be okay with the students? You expect me to pay for renovations I have no say in and will not enjoy the benefit of with money I have to borrow to give to you? EMU is one of the cheapest universities in Michigan, yes, but also one of the worst organized. The students suffer for the benefit of building useless things, and for the benefit of a sports program that has no excellence behind it. Meanwhile, the Forensics team, which has been ranked top ten nationally since 1972 doesn't get recognized or appreciated by the university at large. Way to go EMU, you are failing your students.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Picker, am I missing something?

The Picker

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 11:47 a.m.

Obviously, Kellie has not seen Pulp Fiction !

Hugh Giariola

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 11:22 a.m.

Yes Geoff, they (as do other universities) disguise tuition increases in the form of fees, which magically fall outside that 3.75% cap.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

I get it. Positive spin. But put perfume on a pig and you still have a pig.